Case #784.0

Plastic in the Public Sector

Publication Date: January 01, 1987
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This five-paragraph case sketches a debate in the state of Minnesota about whether to allow to pay for their annual $15 park permits by credit card. The debate took place in the context of a larger Department of Natural Resources effort to increase use of state parks; an informal marketing exercise had revealed that parks-users would appreciate the convenience of being able to pay with plastic. DNR began to push the idea, but ran into opposition from the state Department of finance, which was concerned about the bookkeeping complexities inherent in the scheme, as well as its apparent costs.

Learning Objective:
This case has been used to prompt a "what's-the-real-issue-here" discussion in class. It can be argued that the question of whether to allow credit card payments is essentially a make-or-buy decision, and that to recognize it as such will significantly clarify the decision-making process.

Other Details

Case Author:
Robert A. Leone
Faculty Lead:
Robert A. Leone
Pages (incl. exhibits):
United States